A senior Iranian cleric delivered Friday prayers in Tehran while standing behind a podium that declared, “We Will Trample Upon America,” according to photos released by Iran’s state-controlled media.
Iranian cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, who was handpicked by the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader to deliver the prayers, delivered a message of hostility toward the United States in the first official remarks since a final nuclear deal was signed between Iran and world powers in Vienna last week.
Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, said that the official remarks by Iranian officials and clerics are meant to mock the Obama administration.
Supreme Leader Ali “Khamenei is toying with Obama right now, humiliating him, but Obama is too self-absorbed to realize it,” Rubin said. “The best analogy to this would be if Roosevelt made peace with Hirohito who gave a speech under the banner ‘We will bomb Pearl Harbor anyway.’”
“There’s a reason why Obama doesn’t want Congress to see the agreement,” Rubin added. “That is because to examine the agreement is to recognize that it’s more an unconditional surrender than an arms control agreement.”
The most recent talks in Geneva between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif may have completed a major step toward a landmark nuclear accord that the Obama Administration believes will diminish Tehran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon. The potential deal, as reported by the AP and The New York Times, would impose uranium stockpile and enrichment limitations on Iran, and Tehran would have to submit to a restrictive verification and inspection regime for a period of 10 to 15 years. In return, sanctions on Iran would be lifted, and its status as a uranium-enriching nation would be prescribed under international law.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz stated , however, that if the emerging US – Iran nuclear agreement did not include measures preventing any nuclear cooperation with North Korea or other rogue states, it would be meaningless, referring to North Korea’s previous clandestine and illegal nuclear projects in Syria – “We all know that Iran, Syria and North Korea are very close to each other,” he said.
Yet the Obama Administration appears to ignore this potential loophole in order to conclude an agreement acceptable to Iran. Unless specifically prohibited and enforced within the terms and conditions, Tehran may attempt to sidestep the protocols by “outsourcing'” parts of the bomb production process to North Korea, Iran’s long-term partner on everything from launch missiles to guidance systems to nuclear war head technology and other required components.
Iran is planning to place medium-range missiles on Venezuelan soil, based on western information sources, according to an article in the German daily, Die Welt, of November 25, 2010. According to the article, an agreement between the two countries was signed during the last visit of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Tehran on October19, 2010. The previously undisclosed contract provides for the establishment of a jointly operated military base in Venezuela, and the joint development of ground-to-ground missiles.
At a moment when NATO members found an agreement, in the recent Lisbon summit (19-20 November 2010), to develop a Missile Defence capability to protect NATO’s populations and territories in Europe against ballistic missile attacks from the East (namely, Iran), Iran’s counter-move consists in establishing a strategic base in the South American continent – in the United States’s soft underbelly.